Terry Jones has at least one sin for which he needs to be absolved.
According to a New York Times report today, one man is now dead following protests outside a NATO office in western Afghanistan over Jones' "stunt," as President Obama has called it, to burn copies of the Koran on 9/11 in his church's own protest against Islam and, presumably, against the proposed mosque and community center near the Ground Zero site.
"A fringe Florida preacher may have suspended his Koran-burning, but word reached Afghanistan too late for 24-year-old Muhammed Daoud," the report says.
And that death could have and indeed would have been avoided had Jones not gone on his hysterical, fire-branded campaign against Islam, and had the media simply ignored that which deserves no limelight. I and many other bloggers have given the story attention, but, at least in my case, I gave it attention only to condemn it and only after large media outfits had already begun courting the disastrous story.
But all this matters not for Daoud, of course, and I hope — but I highly doubt it will — prick like a stick on Jones' conscience. Again, given what we know about this person, one willing to risk the security of his country and that of the men and women serving in Muslim-dominated countries — not to mention native Middle Easterners — to make his point, we can't rightly pen a very positive account of the man's ability to care for his fellow human beings.
Also late this week, in what appears to be a situation in which no one quite knows who said what, Jones is claiming that local imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, had made a deal with him to move the location of Park 51, the official name of the center. Thus, Jones would not hold the Koran burning. But Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man heading up the project, has on multiple occasions said the plan was moving forward. Here is Rauf's column published recently in the New York Times and a statement made in an interview with ABC News' Christiane Amanpour.